Dismas of Vermont to open house for women in Rutland
RUTLAND — Dismas of Vermont will open a “dismas house” in Rutland this March. The organization has dedicated the house entirely to formerly incarcerated women. The new residence will be the fifth Dismas House in Vermont working to effect lasting reconciliations between Vermont communities and justice-involved persons. The facility, to be located on Royce Street, will be dedicated entirely to meeting the unique reintegration challenges facing formerly incarcerated women.
Dismas of Vermont currently operates four residential homes in Vermont that assist individuals transitioning from incarceration back into the community. The organization, founded 34 years ago by Rita and Frank McCaffrey of Rutland, provides community-based support and encouragement to persons committed to returning to productive roles, all in furtherance of Dismas’ core mission of achieving lasting reconciliation between former offenders and their communities.
Executive Director Jim Curran affirmed that the organization’s largely self-funded initiative in Rutland is directed to serving women — a population that often faces unique reintegration challenges after release from incarceration. “For years we have heard of the difficulties of women who become justice involved. As an organization we felt it important to step up, even in these difficult times, to provide women an additional resource when addressing the enormous stresses they face in navigating exits from the criminal justice system.”
The house will be available to females released by the Department of Corrections from all corners of the State. Dee Bort, Chair of DOV’s Rutland Local Council, shared the organization’s enthusiasm around this expansion. “While Dismas has served Rutland directly for decades, this new offering represents a clear re-affirmation of our organization’s commitment to help address the transitional housing and reintegration needs of women and their families. We are blessed to have deep support in the Rutland community and I know that this news will be well received among the many of persons who regularly donate their time, energies and resources to our mission.”
In addition to offering housing, Dismas will be provide satellite workspace for Turning Point to provide onsite recovery services to the Royce Street residents. “I cannot imagine a better partner to help support Dismas’ residents.” said Curran. “The opportunities this unique building provides couldn’t be better.” Tonya Wright the Program Supervisor of Turning Point said. “With the addition of the new Royce Street Women’s House, we are able to expand our delivery of peer support services. Allowing Turning Point staff to set up a satellite office, on site, for 20 hours per week will give us the time and space needed to provide every resident with a recovery coach who can help them find and navigate the resources necessary to overcome their personal barriers to moving forward and maintain recovery.”
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